This pie is my one last nod to summer baking, before my thoughts turn to more autumnal flavours. There is something very homely, yet at the same time elegant, about a lattice topped pie.
Normally I will use tinned peaches, but I think here you really need the fresh as you need them to bake down and release juices into the honey; I’m not sure that tinned peaches would behave the same way.
Here are the peaches cooking in honey and cinnamon. It looks a lot but it does cook down quite a lot and you end up with a quantity just enough for a generous pie (the ONLY kind of pie worth having!):
I cannot recommend the “boiling water” tip enough for peeling ripe peaches. The reason I usually use tinned peaches is because they are smooth and perfect, whereas when I’ve tried to peel a peach it comes out looking somewhat butchered. Look how perfect these are:
Simply pouring boiling water over the peaches and leaving them for one minute has a magical effect – rinse the peaches off in cold water and the peel almost falls off between your fingers. One of those strangely enjoyable tasks!
The lattice top isn’t as scary as you’d think as long as you’re methodical and alternate which strips of pastry you lift. At this point I had planned on photographing the progress of my lattice on the pie....however, moments before I started to make the lattice I had dropped almost a pint of thick double cream into my fridge and it kindly decided to pool under the crisper drawers; an area you can only access by removing most of the shelves in the fridge. On the plus side, I did surprise (impress?) myself with just how many swear words I know. Consequently, because of my cream fuelled rage, I totally forgot to take photos. But there are lots of useful aides on youtube and I really liked this one.
I used this pastry wheel to get the nice edge to the lattice strips. One wheel is plain, the other crimped. I was in a “crimped” sort of mood so went for that!
This was a lovely pie/tart – the gentle spicing and the honey mixed with peach juice gave an almost fruity butterscotch element. If you don’t fancy a lattice top you could make a ‘solid’ pastry lid or cut shapes of pastry and just lay them on the top.
For the peach filling:
7-8 fresh ripe peaches, peeled, stoned and sliced into wedges
5 tablespoons runny honey
100g caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 ½ tablespoons plain flour
For the pastry (this is comfortably more than you will need, simply either freeze any leftover pastry or make some bonus jam tarts):
500g plain flour
250g unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoon milk or water (I used milk)
To sprinkle on top of the pie for baking: a handful of caster sugar
To serve: custard or thick cream
Start by making the peach filling: if your peaches won’t peel easily, pour boiling water over them, leave them for a minute or so, then remove them from the hot water, run under the cold tap and voila – easy peeling! You could also microwave them for 15 seconds then leave to stand for 2 minutes before peeling – I haven’t tried this method though.
Place the peach wedges (aim to cut each peach into about 12 slices, more if you can) in a pan along with the honey and cook over a gentle heat until the peaches soften and the honey thickens. Stir occasionally; it will take about 10 minutes.
Stir in the sugar and cinnamon.
Add the flour gradually until the liquid starts to thicken – you might not need it all - and bring the mixture back to a simmer.
Simmer gently until the flour has thickened the liquid – this will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Spoon into a container and cover with clingfilm.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or, ideally, overnight.
To make the pastry: pulse the flour and butter in a food processor until you have crumbs.
Add the egg and milk and pulse again until the pastry clumps but does not form a ball – be careful not to overwork it.
Tip the dough onto a sheet of clingfilm and kneed it just enough to form a ball.
Cut the ball in half (make one half a bit more generous than the other), then for each ‘half’ - flatten, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out the larger half of chilled dough between two sheets of clingfilm. I didn’t need to add any extra flour. Use one sheet of the clingfilm to lift the pastry to line a 25cm pie pan or a loose bottomed flan tin.
There is no need to grease the pan as the pastry is buttery and will not stick.
Press the pastry into the pan and trim off any excess pastry.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/fan oven 180˚C/390˚F/Gas mark 6.
Spoon the chilled peach filling into the pie case.
Roll out the remaining ball of pastry and cut 14 strips approximately 2cm wide.
Lay the longest strip across the centre of the pie and work outwards ensuring you have a regular under/over pattern. If you need more help then there are many guides on youtube – this is a good one.
Brush some milk, or beaten egg over the lattice top and sprinkle with a handful of sugar.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and cooked.
Leave to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack.
Serve either at room temperature with thick cream, or warm with custard.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.